The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday summoned All India Trinamol Congress (AITC) Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O'Brien to join the ongoing investigation in Saradha chit fund case. O'Brien, the official spokesperson of the ruling party in West Bengal, has been asked to appear before a CBI team in the first week of August.
"Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked Trinamol Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O'Brien to join ongoing investigation in Saradha chit fund case," the news agency ANI reported.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked Trinamol Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O'Brien to join ongoing investigation in Saradha chit fund case. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/Rd70jEMqPn— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2019
According to sources, the quizmaster-turned-politician may be questioned about some dubious financial transactions noticed by sleuths in the bank accounts of Trinamool Congress mouthpiece 'Jago Bangla'. The CBI suspects that 'Jago Bangla' had received a good amount of money from arrested Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohta, who is said to be associated with Rose Valley, a company accused in the scam. Mohta had allegedly cut a deal of Rs 25 crore with the company and a portion of this money is suspected to be diverted to 'Jago Bangla' account.
The CBI may also grill O'Brien regarding the sale of several paintings of party president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Those paintings were purchased by owners of several ponzi scam companies allegedly at a huge price, the officials claim. Several such paintings worth lakhs of rupees have been seized by the agency, an allegation which is strongly rejected by the party repeatedly.
In June too, the CBI asked O'Brien to join the investigation in the Saradha ponzi scam case, but the Trinamool Congress leader sought time, citing the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. O'Brien, however, claimed that the CBI notice was issued on the heels of the Trinamool's objection to the amendments to the Right to Information Act and has no connection to the multi-crore-rupee chit fund case.
"Jago Bangla is Trinamool's official newspaper. Publisher: Derek O'Brien. Editor Subrata Bakshi was summoned by CBI a months ago to seek clarifications. Now, publisher served a notice at 2 pm (on) July 25. Trinamool Motion in RS (Rajya Sabha) to oppose amendments to RTI Act started at 2 pm July 25," the Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP said in a tweet.
JagoBangla is Trinamool’s official newspaper. Publisher: Derek O'Brien. Editor Subrata Bakshi was summoned by CBI a months ago to seek clarifications. Now, publisher served a notice at 2pm July25. Trinamool Motion in RS to oppose amendments to RTI Act started at 2pm July25😊😊— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) July 26, 2019
The CBI has already questioned party general secretary Subrata Bakshi Saradha ponzi scam case, while party leader Madan Mitra and noted Bengali film star Prosenjit Chatterjee were quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Rose Valley scam earlier in the month.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had ordered a probe into the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam and transferred the case to the CBI. Thousands of investors were left in the lurch by the scam and it led to the arrest of many leaders and ministers of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. However, all of those party members are currently out on bail. Saradha group founder Sudipta Sen and his associate Debjani Mukherjee, who were arrested in 2013 from Kashmir, are in custody.